Freshman midfielder Kali Hartshorn flipped the ball by Rutgers goalkeeper Devon Kearns and dropped her stick to the side as her teammates swarmed her. The clock hadn’t even ticked for six minutes, but the Maryland women’s lacrosse team had a 6-0 lead.

Wednesday, the Terps had to fight from behind to beat Virginia. That was far from the case Saturday in Piscataway, New Jersey.

The No. 1 Terps jumped out to an early lead, and despite early retaliation from their foe, Hartshorn powered Maryland to a 20-8 victory over Rutgers.

“We came out really strong, and that was something we wanted to see tonight,” coach Cathy Reese said. “We were doing a really nice job of taking care of the ball on offense and really working to find the right shot. That was a great start for us.”

Following the Terps’ quick start, Rutgers managed a 5-3 run to bring the deficit to four. That was as close as the game would get.

Maryland (13-0, 3-0 Big Ten) tallied its largest first half goal total with 14 to take a nine-goal lead into the break. When Hartshorn scored her sixth goal of the day to open the second half, the clock began to run.

Reese emptied her bench like she did against Michigan on April 1, giving reserves opportunities as the Terps kept the Scarlet Knights (7-6, 1-2 Big Ten) at bay.

Rutgers never managed to cut Maryland’s below 10 in the second half.

Hartshorn led the Terps with her career-high six goals. The Allentown, New Jersey, native, playing in her home state, impressed Reese with her shot selection and savvy on the draw.

She also executed a behind the back shot for her fifth goal. She collected a pass from midfielder Taylor Hensh, flashed across the face of goal and bounced the ball by Kearns. She smiled as she celebrated with her teammates, but it was no surprise to Reese.

“It’s great because she’s a very talented player, she’s creative and we’re always going to encourage her to be creative and to take advantages of opportunities she has,” Reese said. “She played great tonight.”

Attacker Megan Whittle added four goals to eclipse 40 scores this season. Attacker Caroline Wannen had a hat trick and three assists as she ran the Terps’ offense from behind the Rutgers net.

Two of Wannen’s assists went to Hartshorn, who continued to create space for herself in front of goal.

“She’s just so versatile in the middle of the field,” Wannen said. “She always somehow finds herself open in the middle of the eight-meter and she works really hard to get those looks. I’m just glad I found her tonight and she could finish on those shots.”

Nine players found the back of the net as the Terps scored 20 or more goals for the third time this season.

Meanwhile, goalkeepers Megan Taylor, Emily Kift and Emma Moss combined for six saves.

Reese was happy with the way her players performed after their tough battle with Virginia. Even after some Rutgers runs, they didn’t take their foot of the gas.

“We had a few moments where we gave up a couple of goals that were unfortunate whether they were on mistakes or a couple of good shots in there,” Reese said. “We needed to make sure we rebounded, and we did that.”